Media Center

Press Release


  June 22, 2007

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States, (OAS), Albert R. Ramdin, today underscored the need for the countries of the hemisphere to work towards strengthening regional cooperation on security-related matters through partnerships using existing multilateral mechanisms such as the OAS and the Inter-American Defense Board.

Speaking to the graduating class of the Inter-American Defense College at OAS headquarters, Ramdin noted that as the security agenda continues to expand, the role of the OAS as a partner for peace and security will become more critical, reiterating that security is multidimensional in nature and requires multi-faceted and novel approaches in addressing it.

Ramdin stressed the need to promote greater cooperation between civilian and military actors in order to strengthen conflict prevention mechanisms and improve coordination to respond to current emerging security threats so that major vulnerabilities “which impact stability, the rule of law, governance and human security such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic, natural and man-made disasters and environmental degradation are mitigated as best as possible.”

“The OAS remains our region's most steadfast compass and proponent for peace and security, justice and solidarity in the Americas, and its principal practical objectives remain those of mitigating and preventing conflict within as well as between and among states,” he told the Class of 2007. “It is also that of helping to create an environment conducive to the social, political and economic progress of the peoples of the Americas. Therefore, building peaceful societies and creating sustainable economies require a climate and approach bases on solidarity and collective action,” added the Assistant Secretary General.

In providing words of advice for the recently graduated students, Assistant Secretary General Ramdin noted that the governments of the region have agreed that democracy is a right to which all citizens are entitled “but you have a responsibility to irrigate and strengthen the growing roots of democracy by upholding the right of the individual to personal security and improved quality of life. You must collaborate to promote employment opportunities at home, encourage investment in education and health care, underpin and uphold the rule of law and the pillars of good governance,” he said, adding that as leaders they hold in their hands the power and potential to help shape the future of these Americas.

Also participating in today’s ceremony were OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, Major Keith Huber, Director of the Inter-American Defense College, and OAS Ambassadors from the member countries, among others. The Inter-American Defense College is an international educational institution operating under the aegis and funding of the OAS and the Inter-American Defense Board to educate and develop future strategic leaders from throughout the hemisphere.

Reference: E-152/07